Former Dundee Stars forward, Billy Baxter was with the club for three years and played his last game in a Stars jersey 12 year ago but he still fondly remembers his time with his hometown team and the opportunities it gave him.

By Kris Smith

Baxter came through the Dundee junior system and eventually made his Stars debut in 2005 and went on to make 61 appearances for the club.

Billy started off by explaining how things have gone since he left the Stars in 2008 and he said: “Since leaving the Stars, I was lucky enough that the Dundee Comets were just starting up in the Scottish National League at that time.

“I’ve known Rab Brown, who was the head coach for years and a lot of guys I had played juniors with were coming back, so it made sense to start playing there and I am now the longest serving player there.

“I have been there for the last 12 seasons now and I also have a son who’s now playing with the Stars junior development, where I’m coaching the under 12s.

“I started off as a helper and somehow got roped into coaching and I have now been doing that for the last six or seven years, whilst still playing myself, so I’m kept busy.”’

 

 

Many people remember Baxter when he played for the Stars in the SNL and Northern League seasons but Billy actually made his debut for the team before that era.

“My first memory is from my first game, a lot of people don’t know this but I actually played a few games when the Stars were in the old British National League”, said Billy.

He continued: “It was the year Tony Hand left, I was playing juniors in Dundee when I was about 17 or 18 years old and I think I was asked to make up the British player numbers and my first game was in Fife against the Flyers.

“I just remember being in the with all these big guys who I had watched over the years, like Jan Mikel, Ken Priestley, Teeder Wynne, etc and thinking what am I doing here.

“That was a great experience, it was short lived but great to be amongst those guys.

“I had the odd game where I’d play up from SNL but it was really when the BNL folded and the league format changed my time with the Stars began.

“It was great because it was competitive and the crowds against the Flyers were amazing, derby games were always the ones to look forward to.

“I remember the league wasn’t too competitive back then with the exception of the Flyers.

“When they introduced the Northern League that was great fun the bus trips were always eventful and anyone who’s been to Whitley Bay will tell you that its an experience in its self.”

 

 

The team had many memorable victories during the centerman’s tenure but when asked what his favourite moment in a Stars jersey was, the now 35-year-old replied: “I’d say my favourite moment was being a Junior and training up and just being with the experienced guys during practice and games and learning from them.

“Paddy Lochi actually gave me a lot of time and helped my improve my game and speed on the ice so for me that was a really good part.

“I suppose a lot of guys like winning trophies and want to be the best, that’s great and it’s an amazing experience but I just love playing the game.”

Baxter was also asked how it felt to be on the team as they dropped down from the BNL and into the Scottish leagues for the first time.

He answered: “I suppose I’ve covered it already but with Dundee in the SNL it wasn’t that competitive as we were a high-flying team with a lot of experience and prolific goal scorers.

“It was enjoyable though and it was great they managed to keep the club going and the fans were always great as well as crowds were a good size most games.

“Plus, with all the teams coming from Scotland there wasn’t much travel involved.

 

 

Finally, Baxter had a message he wanted to share with all the Stars fans and he said: “I’m very much still involved in Dundee and it’s great to see the crowds they are getting and they have some of the most loyal fans I’d say, I loved playing in front of them.

“What I would say to the fans is support the local juniors as they are the future and there’s a lot of great kids coming through who I’m sure will be wearing Stars tops in times to come!”

Next up in this week’s series of ‘Look Back’ articles on the fifth Dundee Stars season you can read the Where Are They Now Interview of another former Stars player from the 2005-2006 season and that will be available tomorrow at 12pm!

If you want to be a part of the historic 20th Dundee Stars season then you can buy your season tickets by contacting [email protected]

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Dundee Stars Team
48 Games
18 Wins
27 Losses
3 OT Losses
39 Points